Don’t get me wrong. There are people who’ve made a boatload of money writing books. A good friend of mine, Mark Victor
Hansen, along with his co-author Jack Canfield, have sold over 150 million copies of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series of books. There’s no doubt about it that they became rich from the books and offshoot business they created around it. I congratulate them for it.
But, your chances of writing a book and getting rich are less than one in a million. And getting rich from just the royalties of the book is even less likely. A lot of Mark and Jack’s money was generated by income from the business they created around the series. In reality, the average book only sells a few copies. In fact, in some markets, it only take 5000-6000 copies to be a best seller. In others, is make take even less.
Let’s look a little closer at this. In some cases, you could be listed as a “Bestseller” with as few as 30 copies sold on Amazon. It just happens that very few books are sold in that category. There are people who teach courses on becoming a bestseller by going into obscure markets just so they can call themselves Best Selling Authors. I think this is BS.
There are legitimate Bestsellers. If you hit the New York Times list, you are a Bestseller. I might even consider it a legitimate bestseller if you hit number one in a category on Amazon. But to hit number one in a category, within a category, within a category, within a category and then saying your book is a “Best Seller” in a category
that is not even related to your book, is BS. It’s just not right to use tricks to achieve the perception of being a bestseller.
Let’s look at the fifth reason for writing a book: Credibility. A lot of people believe they’ll achieve instant credibility by writing a book, but they are wrong. You may feel good about yourself for writing the book and that’s fantastic, but it will not give you credibility. Here’s the reason why…No One Has Read Your Book Yet! How can you achieve credibility if no one has read your book? Credibility only comes if people know you as a result of your book. Sure, you can stand on stage in front of an audience and tell them about the great book you wrote, but if no one has heard of it, you have zero credibility from it.
Don’t fall into the trap that you need a book in order to gain credibility. There are multiple ways to gain credibility without writing a book, and they all are easier and faster than writing a book and marketing it.
Let’s take a time out. I’m not trying to burst your bubble by debunking these “reasons” for writing a book. I’m trying to get your head straight and help you get rid of the myths and crap before you start writing your book. Believe me, it will save you a lot of time and anguish.
Even though the things I said up above may seem to put book writing and publishing in a bad light, I firmly believe writing and publishing a book is a very good thing to do—if you do it correctly and for the right reasons. We will cover the correct reasons and methods over the course of this series of articles.
Let’s look at the sixth common reason for writing a book: Self Worth. There is nothing wrong with this. You want to share your words and thoughts with the world in order to feel better about yourself. This is probably the best, brutally honest reason that anyone could give as a reason to write a book. If seeing your name and story in print makes you feel better, GO FOR IT! I’m 100% behind you.